RUSSELLS Creek will have a brother-and-sister duo at the helm of its senior football and A grade netball sides for season 2014.
Club officials yesterday unveiled Port Fairy defender Rhiannon Cuomo, 30, as playing coach of the Kangaroos’ top-grade netballers.
Her appointment follows that of her brother, Jay Everall, as non-playing coach of the footballers. Everall crosses from Penshurst.
Cuomo, a mother of 18-month-old daughter Indiana, was excited about taking on her first coaching job.
She said the Kangaroos was an obvious place to kick off her mentoring career, particularly with the Seagulls reappointing Emma O’Keeffe.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and the opportunity has presented itself,” she said.
“Obviously my family has had a fair bit to do with Russells Creek over the last 15 years, and even back before that on and off.
“They’ve always been a really family-oriented, positive club, that’s what I’m looking forward to.
“I’ve got an 18-month-old daughter so that’s a quality you look for when you play sport.”
Cuomo, who replaces Chris van Kempen in the role, played all her junior netball at Port Fairy before leaving for Melbourne after high school.
She was a member of former state league club South West Spirit and at one stage was on a Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship.
A wish to be closer to her family prompted her and husband Steve to shift back to Port Fairy last year.
But a snapped Achilles tendon playing for the Seagulls in the Western Regional State League ended her season before it could start.
Cuomo said she knew little about the Russells Creek playing group, other than it was youthful.
She said the Kangaroos, which finished eight in 2013, were on the hunt for a capable goal shooter to lead its attack end.
As for expectations, Cuomo said finals were a realistic goal —“any you never know what can happen from there”.
“If you look at North Warrnambool in the Hampden league this year, all those girls were extremely young and they came away with a premiership,” she said.
“Obviously next year that’s my goal. But I personally measure success by minor goals we set during the year.
“If we hit those targets we can look at the ultimate goals of finals and a premiership later in the year. I think finals are very achievable. I have been told there are three powerhouses in Panmure, Dennington and Old Collegians.
“We’ll give it our best shot. It’s a bit hard to tell coming in new and not really knowing the girls.”
Cuomo said her history as a defender meant the Kangaroos’ game plan would be built around stopping goals as a priority.
“The more pressure defence-wise across the whole court, the more turnovers you’re going to get and the goals will follow,” she said.
“We’re looking at having a more defensive game and then hopefully the attack end will flow.”